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Research Interests

Development Economics, Religion, Demography, Education


Sriya received a PhD from the University of Cambridge (2000); Serves on the Council of the Royal Economic Society; Research Fellow CEPR; Research Fellow IZA; India Advisory Board Pew Research Centre. Awarded a Population Council Social Science Research Fellowship (1998-1999), a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2000-2003), and grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Isaac Newton Trust, the Cambridge-INET Institute and The Keynes Fund. She was awarded a University of Cambridge Pilkington Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2014.

Recent Publications

Published Papers

Iyer, S. Religion and Discrimination: A Review Essay of Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom, Journal of Economic Literature (2022) vol 60 no. 1 pp. 256-278
Fan, J., Friedman, D., Gair, J., Iyer, S., Redlicki, B. and Velu, C. A Simulation Study of How Religious Fundamentalism Takes Root, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2021) vol 192 pp. 465-481
Velu, C. and Iyer, S. Learning From Near Misses from Covid 19, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2021) vol 118 no. 40
Iyer, S. and Weeks, M. Social Interactions, Ethnicity, Religion and Fertility in Kenya, Journal of Demographic Economics (2020)
Chaudhary, L., Rubin, J., Iyer, S. and Shrivastava, A. Culture and Colonial Legacy: Evidence from Public Goods Games, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2020) vol 173 pp. 107-129
Fruehwirth, J., Iyer, S. and Zhang, A. Religion and Depression in Adolescence, Journal of Political Economy (2019) vol 127 no. 3 pp. 1178-1209
Iyer, S. and Shrivastava, A. Religious Riots and Electoral Politics in India, Journal of Development Economics (2018) vol 131 pp. 104-122
Iyer, S. The New Economics of Religion, Journal of Economic Literature (2016) vol 54(2) pp. 395-441

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics

Bahal, G., Iyer, S., Shastry, K., and Anand Shrivastava, A. Religion, Covid-19 and Mental Health, (2023) CWPE2302
Cavalcanti, T., Iyer, S., Rauh, C., Roerig, C. and Vaziri, M. A City of God: Afterlife Beliefs and Job Support in Brazil, (2022) CWPE2268
Gair, J. R., Iyer, S. and Velu, C. Probabilistic Choice Models, (2021) CWPE2102
Iyer, S. Religion and Discrimination: A Review Essay of Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom, (2020) CWPE2084
Ticku, R., Shrivastava, A. and Iyer, S. Economic Shocks and Temple Desecrations in Medieval India, (2018) CWPE1862

Authored Book

Iyer, S. The Economics of Religion in India, (2018) - Harvard University Press
Iyer, S. Demography and Religion in India, (2002) - Oxford University Press

Chapter in Book

Iyer, S. and Rosso, G. Religion and Mental Health, (2022), in Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Edited by Klaus Zimmermann - Springer
Iyer, S. The Economics of Religion in Developing Countries, (2020), forthcoming in Religion and Flourishing. Edited by A. Cohen - Baylor University Press
Iyer, S. Religion and Demography, (2019), forthcoming in Advances in the Economics of Religion. Edited by J-P Carvalho, Sriya Iyer, J Rubin - Palgrave Macmillan
Iyer, S. Religion and Institutions, (2018), in A Research Agenda for the New institutional Economics. Edited by Claude Menard, Mary Shirley - Edward Elgar Publishers
Iyer, S., Joshi, S. and Do, Q. Why marry a cousin? Insights from Bangladesh, (2013), in Marrying in South Asia: Shifting Concepts, Changing Practices in a Globalising World. Edited by Ravinder Kaur, Rajni Parliwala - Orient Blackswan

Edited Books

eds. Carvalho, J-P, Iyer, S. and Rubin, J. Advances in the Economics of Religion, (2019) - Palgrave Macmillan

Research Activities

St Catharine’s College highlights Catz Economics Fellows
An article on Catz Economics Fellows has been published today as part of the College’s 550th anniversary celebrations.
Published on - Tuesday 23rd May 2023

The business of economics
Professor Sriya Iyer from the Faculty of Economics, and Professor Chander Velu from the Department of Engineering have a letter published in The Economist magazine this week arguing that Economics is continuing to be a foundational discipline, but it has the potential to become as practical as engineering.
Published on - Monday 24th April 2023

Four new professors in Economics faculty
Four academics at the Faculty of Economics have been promoted to Professor grades at the University of Cambridge.
Published on - Thursday 16th June 2022

Professor Sriya Iyer elected to RES Council
Professor Sriya Iyer at the Faculty of Economics has been elected to the Council of The Royal Economic Society, following ratification at the Society's Annual General Meeting.
Published on - Monday 30th May 2022

How Indians view gender roles
The latest report from the Pew Research Center features expert advice from the Faculty’s Professor Sriya Iyer. It has found traditional gender norms are still prevalent.
Published on - Monday 7th March 2022

Research Grants

The Next RES Research Initiative: Expanding the Advancements Made in the Economic Study of Religion and Religious Markets (John Templeton Foundation)
Modernizing The Madrasa In India (Isaac Newton Trust)

Keynes Fund Affiliation & Sponsored Projects

Deputy Director of the Keynes Fund

Iyer, S., Cavalcanti, T. V. D. and Rauh, C., How Important are Religious Organisations as Insurance? (JHOT)
Iyer, S., Bahal, G. and Shrivastava, A., Religion and Covid-19 (JHUW)


PI Paper 4 - Lent - Political and Social Institutions
PIIB Paper 8 - Themes in Development Economics
MPhil S500 Development
MPhil F530 Venture Capital

PhD Students


Jamie Moore
PhD Title:
Research: Microeconometrics, Machine Learning, Development Economics, Applied Microeconomics, and Networks
Kishen Shastry
PhD Title:
Research: Traditional and Informal Institutions, Development Economics, Network Economics, Economics of Religion


Benjapon Prommawin
PhD Title: An Essay on International Reserves Adequacy for Emerging Asian Countries

Professor Sriya Iyer

Professor of Economics and Social Science

Research Group:
Empirical Microeconomics

CV: Curriculum Vitae

Personal Site:

Contact Details
Room: 40
Office Hours: Email for appointment
College: Professorial Fellow of St. Catharine's College

Women in Economics